Brain Pickings offers a plethora of suggestions for how to handle creative blocks. Two of my preferred methods are listed. I prefer physical distraction (after I self-assign my brain to go away and work on a problem without my attention.) I get a lot of solutions in the shower and when I’m falling asleep this way. The second is by trying to put together all the things that are absorbing my interest at any given time – from memes I’ve seen on the internet to the thing on the Science Channel I think is interesting to the issues I’m having with a friend. What’s the common thread? How do these things fit together? The author Jessica Hagy recommends reading books to prep what I call “brain stew” to gather information as such:

By forcing your mind to connect disparate bits of information, you’ll jump-start your thinking, and you’ll fill in blank after blank with thought after thought. The goblins of creative block have stopped snarling and have been shooed away, you’re dashing down thoughts, and your synapses are clanging away in a symphonic burst of ideas.

Many good suggestions and links to others at Brain Pickings.